Falklands’ government confirms Grenadier licensed fishery
The Falkland Islands government will be setting a Grenadier licensed fishery on a test basis to assess the potential and evolution of the species. The decision was announced by the Falklands’ Executive Council after its latest monthly meeting and following the presentation of a paper with the proposition.
“This will be a licensed fishery in the beginning as this will give time to see how it goes before it is brought into the ITQ system”, said the Exco report.
There will also be a permanent fishery observer on the vessel taking part in this fishery “as we wish to monitor closely how it goes and also any by catch, especially that of toothfish, which is a high value species that overlap the grenadier fishing ground in places”.
The fishery observer will be paid for by the company that holds the licence for the Grenadier fishery so it will not be a financial burden on the Falklands’ government.
Last month Falklands’ Director of Fisheries John Barton advanced to MercoPress that the Islands fishing industry was taking steps to establish a licensed fishery for grenadier for an initial period of three years.
In 2009 the option of converting the grenadier fishery from exploratory status to an ITQ fishery was considered, but not progressed, revealed Barton.
“It was now considered preferable to run the grenadier fishery as a licensed commercial fishery for three years, prior to entry into the ITQ system” he added.
Barton said that despite the volume of survey work, some uncertainty remained as to the potential yield of the stock and how it would respond to more prolonged fishing.
As a consequence, the total allowable catch may require some adjustment in the early years.